Shootings down 16%
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
Thursday, July 6, 2006
Toronto Police recently released statistics showing that the number of shooting incidents in the city has declined by 16%. In the first half of the year, there were 137 shooting incidents (not counting those occurrences where guns are fired into the air or at targets) compared to 164 during the same time in 2005 which has been dubbed "The Year of the Gun". The bad news was that while the number of shootings was down, the number of murders rose from 30 to 33.
The downside of all this is that the decrease will be used by Mayor David Miller and his left wing cronies on council to tell the voters in this, an election year that violent crime (shootings) is decreasing. In spite of the decrease, the last two weeks have seen shots being taken at police and paramedics, a woman shot in the head at close range and killed while sitting in a parked car and a shooting in an elevator at the ritzy Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. While a 16% decrease in shootings is better than an increase, it is statistically unimportant. Only time will tell whether this decrease is the beginning of a downward trend or merely a statistical blip. To believe that the violence in the city has made a downturn is like believing that Al Gore will give up his global warming theories because he finally noticed that it gets cool at night.
Miller has always treated violent crime as a distraction to his grandiose socialist experiments for the city. Look for him to quote the fact that shootings are down whenever he is confronted with the issue of violent crime that is of lot less importance to him than to the general public. He was one of the last holdouts to keep on saying that "crime is decreasing" while the city was experiencing a sharp increase in gun violence.
According to police, the reason why the number of shootings have decreased is, hold onto your hats, enforcement. The police have been somewhat successful during the past few months in taking guns and gang members off of the streets. Not only have many of the most violent gang members been "removed" but more importantly, police say that with many of the gang leaders locked up, people are coming forward as witnesses in larger numbers. What has to decline before a real dent in shootings can be made, are the number of shootings where there are no witnesses, despite these crimes being committed in front of crowds of 20 or 200 people.
While arresting and locking up the gang members and bad guys seems to be a reason for the drop in the number of shootings, what is equally interesting is what seems not to be responsible for the drop in these violent acts. The hug-a-thug approach that is so touted by Mayor Miller, his fellow travellers on council and Bill Blair, his pet police chief, seems to have nothing to do with the reduction. If there is a correlation between the reduction in shooting incidents and the number of brand new basketball courts in areas where blonde haired mayors fear to tread, no one is talking about it. It also seems that pampering who the elites love to refer to as "at risk youth" holding hands while singing Kumbayah and holding marches to end violence do nothing but make certain segments of society feel good about themselves. And feelings are more important than actually making Toronto a safer place to live. The only way to really make the city safer is by effective law enforcement and tougher sentencing and bail laws.
David Miller, when forced to speak about violent crime in this election year, will undoubtedly take credit for the decrease in gun violence if it in fact continues. Dont let him get away with it.